By Sharon Robb
March 26, 2014
Two-time defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club returned to workouts earlier this week at Academic Village Pool still cloud-walking after its impressive Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships victory this past weekend.
Also on the pool deck this week during spring break enjoying the champion atmosphere is Texas A&M assistant coach Tanica Jamison.
Several SOFLO swimmers were among high point winners in the 15-16 and open divisions.
Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 25, a Texas A&M alum, won high point honors in the open division with 216 points. The national record-breaker earned the title by nearly 100 points and played a key role in SOFLO capturing the women’s team title in front of a nationwide audience on Florida Swim Network.
Jessica Rodriguez, 15, who enjoyed a breakthrough meet with some outstanding swims, was the second highest high point earner among the 15-16 age group swimmers with 164 points.
Other SOFLO women’s open high point earners were: Florida International University-bound Maria Lopez, 90; Kathleen Golding, 85; Florida Gulf Coast’s Marcella Marinheiro, 81; Kelley Heron 63; Olivia Katcher 62; Delanie Perez 47; Amber Hunter 45; Melissa Marinheiro 24; Jennifer Rodriguez 20; Kylie Herman 18; Lilli Calero 16; Katherine DeBarros 10; Bianca Muniz 9; Lynn University-bound Kaitlin Armstrong 7; Vanessa Mesa 6; Isabella Di Salvo 5; and Andrea Pereira, 1.
SOFLO 15-16 high point earners were: Melissa Marinheiro, 129; Kylie Herman 64; Carly Swanson, 28; Natasha Testa, 23; Star Fassler, 22; Stephanie Mlujeak, 9; and Lilli Calero, 4.
SOFLO’s top high point earner among the open men was C.J. Kopecki, 14, who had outstanding back-to-back FGC Junior Olympic and Senior Championship meets. He totaled 56 points.
Other SOFLO open point earners were: Florida State-bound Marc Rojas, 20; Ervin Marin, 41; Kry Nichlany, 25.50; Kevin Porto, 25; Nelson Diaz 22; Alejandro Zambrano, 20; Jordan Colon, 19; Matthew Gonzalez, 19; Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 14; Endi Babi, 11; Ricardo Roche, 11; Roger Capote, 10; Bowie Suen, 10; Rafael Rodriguez, 10; Leonardo Mateus, 5; Jonathan Strod, 4.
Julien Pinon, 15, swimming unattached for SOFLO because of his French club commitment overseas, was top high point winner in the 15-16 age group with 167 points. Other high point earners were: Ryan Capote, 105; Juan Lucas, 76; Alex Monti, 71; Jonathan Strod, 69; Alfredo Mesa, 54; Gustavo Valery, 48; Jordan Colon, 44; Baldwin Suen, 18; Brendan Cassie, 15; Alejandro Lombo, 8; Cristian Rossi, 3.
Paralympics National Championships
Miami Ransom Everglades will host the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming National Championships/Spring CanAm that get under way Thursday and end Saturday.
More than 200 athletes including top U.S. swimmers Cortney Jordan, Jessica Long and Ian Silverman head an international field that also includes Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico.
The event is the U.S. qualifier for the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.
The school’s Aquatic Center is located at 3575 Main Highway in Miami. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m. The public is welcome.
Missy Franklin Honored
Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Swimming national team member Missy Franklin was honored Wednesday as the youngest-ever winning of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Franklin won a record-setting six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. She is coming off her freshman season at Cal-Berkeley where she set an American record in the 200-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships.
Franklin is the first swimmer to win the prestigious honor and joins Usain Bolt, Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn. Franklin was given her award by U.S. swimming legend Mark Spitz during the awards ceremony at the Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In other awards, Franklin was also named PAC-12 Freshman of the Year. Stanford senior Maya DiRado was named swimmer of the Year and Stanford’s Greg Meehan was named coach of the Year.
No More Dancing For Swimmer
Record-breaking long distance swimmer and Pine Crest alum Diana Nyad was among the first to be voted off Dancing With The Stars. Nyad and former pro hockey player Sean Avery were sent packing Monday night in the first elimination of Season 18. “That was a full-on surprise,” Nyad said. “It was too short. If the dance had gone on for 53 hours nonstop, I think I would have beat everybody.”
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org